Quick-service restaurant industry veteran William “Bill” Spae has been named the CEO of Vasari LLC, the second largest franchisee in the Dairy Queen system and the largest franchisee in Texas.
Vasari, headquartered in Irving, Texas, owns and operates 74 Dairy Queen restaurants in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Spae is charged with doubling the size of the company, improving the customer experience and operational standards at its restaurants and scouting potential new locations. Vasari is also seeking to buy additional Dairy Queen franchises in Texas and surrounding areas as opportunities arise.
“Bill Spae is a recognized industry leader with more than 40 years of experience with some of the most iconic brands in [quick service],” says Stockton Croft, partner with Eagle Merchant Partners (EMP), an Atlanta-based private equity firm, which acquired Vasari LLC in December. “We are thrilled to welcome Bill to Vasari.”
Spae has worked for companies such as McDonalds, Burger King, TGI Friday’s, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell. He also has built two leading retail businesses; Hollywood Video and Palm Beach Tan. Spae had two restaurant businesses of his own, a full-service Mexican chain and as a franchisee of Taco Bueno. Most recently, he served as the COO of CiCi’s Enterprises LP, franchisor of CiCi’s Pizza and owner of JMC Distribution Company, and the CEO of Mooyah Burgers, a better-burger restaurant chain.
Spae is no stranger to Dairy Queen, having grown up a fan of the iconic restaurant brand. He took his children there when they were younger, and today, his three grandchildren enjoy going to DQ.
“Our Dairy Queens are going to be the best quick-service restaurants in the communities we serve,” Spae says. “With an unyielding focus on our customers, we want to improve sales and transactions and have the highest level of execution.”
Vasari has an exclusive territory rights agreement for the development of an additional 16 stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. The company will inject capital into the existing restaurants, with plans to remodel and modernize 70 stores over the next five years with hipper, more contemporary designs.
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